Daily Archives: November 28, 2023

AAUW Winter Luncheon

AAUW Winter Luncheon – Last Call!

*When ? Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023 at 11 AM
*Where? North Ridge Country Club, 7600 Madison Ave., Fair Oaks
*What’s on the menu? You have a choice of a Chicken Piccata OR Quinoa Bowl.
*What is the cost? $40
*How do I register? Before Nov. 30, use Eventbrite to choose your entrée and pay electronically. Contact Hedda Smithson for more options. Text or call on her cell; see page 25 of the directory.
*When will registration close? Per the requirements of the venue, registration closes Nov. 30.
*What will we do there? —

Sacramento Branch of AAUW Presents: Episode Four of “The Rights Stuff”
Lights, Camera, Action!! The Right to Higher Education By Hedda Smithson

Did you know AAUW Sacramento has been around since Feb. 25,1920? Some of us helped celebrate our 100th birthday on Feb. 29, 2020. One of the first projects these early members started was a scholarship program.

We have invited each of our five current scholarship recipients to tell their stories and share a wonderful luncheon with us. At this writing we are not sure who will be joining us – so you will need to come to find out. Will it be Elizabeth, an anthropology and economics major at UC Davis; Erin, a graphic design major at Sacramento City College; Nichole, an exercise science major at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS); Wahida, an Asian studies major at CSUS; or Nataliia, a business administration major at American River College? Be ready to greet them warmly and make them feel welcome.

By the time you receive this newsletter, several email “blasts” have been distributed. A big thanks to Shari and Karen!!

And now – it’s time for ACTION!

Branch members often have a “cause” or a “charity” to support at this time of year. We know that college students may have financial hardships and low food security. Please consider supporting the Associated Students Inc. (ASI) Food Pantry at California State University Sacramento. Acceptable items:

  • Non-perishable, individually packaged, single-serving food items
  • Students like low-sodium, low-sugar, low-processed items
  • Spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin, curry powder, etc.)
  • Non-perishable, individually packaged, single-serving food items
  • Toiletries (toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, etc.); menstrual products

President’s Message

President’s Message By Nancy McCabe

Last month we talked about women who have given a significant amount of time to maintaining the presidency of our branch. This month we need to talk about what help is needed to keep the branch running.

When you get involved, besides knowing that you are a part of the leadership team, you will get to know other active members who just could become your great friends. Look at our current vacancies and see where you fit in!

Lisa Howard, the chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, needs help putting together the March meeting, which will use the AAUW implicit bias tool kit.

Charmen Goehring would like members to become familiar with the California School Board Project, which is a part of our Public Policy committee. The San Juan school board was just flipped to extremists so we need to monitor what and where this is happening. We also need a public policy chair to report on bills before the state government that our state lobbyist is following. You would also attend an alternate-month Zoom meeting and write articles for this newsletter informing us of issues we might want to follow.

If you are interested in helping high school girls plan for a career in government, we could use help in contacting schools to recruit girls. We have a state Gov Trek representative in our branch who could show how this is done. Contact Kathy Papst for any of these areas of focus.

The Speech Trek committee needs another member or two to shadow Ann and Shari as they conduct their November informational speech contest workshops (about one hour each) so that you can learn to conduct some of these meetings yourselves. You would need to be available a few weekdays by mid to late November. Where are our former English and/or speech teachers? Contact Kathleen Deaver if you would like to get involved.

Karen Burley could use some help getting the newsletter out and can show someone the ropes. Some comfort level with technology/computer applications such as Microsoft Word is needed.

It takes a lot of hands to accomplish our goals, and we would like to have your time and talents to help accomplish our goal of advancing gender equity for women and girls! Be in touch! All of the contact people are in the directory.


Membership Happenings

Membership Happenings By Gloria Yost and Vicky Lovell

Strengthening our AAUW Sacramento connections and friendships

Holiday seasons can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, a number of different religious celebrations occur, there are parties, gatherings, gift giving and more. On the other hand, there can be isolation and loneliness that can make this season very hard for some of our fellow members and neighbors.

Our hope is that each and every one of you, our members, receives that greeting, or phone call, or invitation of inclusion that will make this holiday season a blessing for you.

Congratulations to our Membership Ambassadors

These eight women – Marlys Huez, Karen Burley, Hedda Smithson, Cherril Peabody, Jean Bonar, Bonnie Penix, Gloria Yost and Michele Hobza – have recruited 12 new members so far! We have held two “bring in a new member drawings” so far and the winners are

  • October – Karen Burley
  • November – Jean Bonar

Congratulations ladies!

Please be sure Gloria Yost knows when you bring a guest and potential member to a meeting so you can get your name on the wall of recognition.

Member in the News

Jessica Waugh recently presented at the BPIS Conference for teachers and administrators that focused on non-punitive strategies to help students engage at school. Her topic was on ways to support students who may be experiencing racism at school. Congratulation Jessica!

Meet our New AAUW Sacramento Members!

Please join the membership team in welcoming eight new members to the Sacramento Branch!  If you meet them at an event, or a book group or interest group, let them know what you enjoy and appreciate most about our branch — after telling them how glad you are they joined. These folks joined our branch in October and November 2023:

  • Darcy Burton
  • Gail Field
  • Diane Ouellett
  • Jill Peckingham
  • Lina Rincon
  • Cathy Sallas
  • Julie Sporrer
  • Jessica Waugh

In Memoriam – Jean Brown
February 24, 1937 – October 31, 2023

Sacramento, California – Jean E. Brown of Sacramento passed away on Oct. 31, 2023 surrounded by her loving family.  Jean was born on Feb. 24, 1937 to Raymond and Marie Boyd in Springfield, Missouri.  Her parents moved to California when she was 5 years old, and she and her three sisters grew up in Sacramento. After graduating from Grant Union High School and Sacramento State University, Jean taught in Washington Unified School District for 30 years after which she taught at James Marshall Preschool for another 20 years. Jean married Kenneth Brown in 1964 and had two daughters, Kathryn and Amy.

Jean was a 56-year member of AAUW where she shared her love of music by directing the Musettes, our branch choir.  The Musettes performed for a number of holiday branch meetings over the years.  She directed again when she led the choir for our 100th Anniversary party in 2020.

Celebrating December Birthdays! 

Happy Birthday to All!

  • Becky Anton                                   12/1
  • Diana Squire                                  12/1
  • Jean Bonar                                     12/4
  • Marcia Becwar                              12/8
  • Diane Petersen                             12/8
  • Angela Scarlett                              12/11
  • Karen Burley                                 12/12
  • Laraine Silberstein                       12/14
  • Lynn Anderson                             12/17
  • Linda Whitney                              12/27
  • Bonnie Penix                                 12/30
  • Susan O’Connell                           12/31

Interest Groups and Speech Trek

Interest Group Happenings By Vicki  Nicholson

  • Art & Architecture: Saturday, Dec. 2, Noon, Enjoy an architectural and stained glass tour of Pioneer Congregational Church.   Contact Deborah Dunn
  • Great Decisions I:  resumes in February, 2024, on Zoom. Contact Cathy Locke
  • Great Decisions II:  resumes in January, 2024, on Zoom. Contact Lynn Wood
  • Great Decisions III: Contact Margaret McCarthy
  • Healthy Heart:  Dec. 15, 11:30 a.m., Twin Lotus Thai, 8345 Folsom Blvd, Unit 119, Sacramento. Contact Jane Cooley
  • Reader’s Theater:  Dec. 12, 1 p.m., “The Constant Wife” by Somerset Maugham, home of Mary Williams. Contact Diane Peterson
  • Scrabble Just for Fun:  resumes in January, 2024. Contact Vivian Counts
  • Singles Dining:  Dec 3. 5. 6 p.m., Jade Garden, 9185 Kiefer Blvd, Sacramento. Contact Nancy McCabe

Speech Trek Update By Ann Arneill

The Speech Trek committee has completed its efforts to recruit students with the Elk Grove high schools for the contest. It will be held on Feb. 10, 2024 at Cosumnes River College, so put that on your calendars!

Don’t forget about the Speech Trek Challenge that will be held via Zoom in the morning on Jan. 13, 2024.  Members will have a chance to discuss the topic in advance of the contest to pique their interest. This year’s very timely topic is “If an educated population is essential to a nation’s prosperity, then how can we ensure a robust public school curriculum that is accessible to all and teaches historically accurate information?” 

Committee members have been preparing for the Challenge so that attendees will have background information to help them understand issues related to the topic and thought-provoking prompts to stimulate discussion. Don’t miss this opportunity to discuss an issue so important to the education of our young people.

The Speech Trek committee would like to expand its membership. Working on Speech Trek is very gratifying. You are helping high school students develop a skill that is no longer taught in public high schools. Public speaking will aid them in their future schooling and their careers. Committee members can do a variety of tasks with varying degrees of responsibility. Please consider volunteering for this committee.

Book Groups for December

Book Groups Update By Sharon Anderson

Reminder there is a “books” page under “Activities” on our branch website (https://sacramento-ca.aauw.net/bookgroups/).  If you wish to see what others are reading, or get ideas for your book group or yourself, please find the books page and take a look.

Each book group has its own tab, by book group number.  (These book group numbers correlate with page 6 of the branch Membership Directory.)  On each list, the meeting days, times and coordinator are listed.  Feel free to call me if you have trouble locating it.

December Book Groups

Book Group 1:
No meeting in December; coordinator is Joy Clous

Book Group 2:
No meeting in December; coordinator is Carol Hayes

Book Group 3: 
No meeting in December; coordinator is Carolyn Meeker

Book Group 4: 
A History of the Index, by Dennis Duncan, on Dec. 13; coordinator is Pat Morehead

Book Group 6: 
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong, on Dec 18; coordinator is Kim Rutledge

Book Group 8: 
No meeting in December; coordinator is Diana Squire

Book Group 10: 
Holiday Party, on Dec. 21; coordinator is Sandi Schoenman

Book Group 12: 
Horse, by Geraldine Brooks, on Dec. 7; coordinator is Linda Cook

Our Favorite Books

From Book Group 3:

1. Mukiwa, by Peter Godwiin. A white boy growing up in Zimbabwe.
2. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro. In the future we may have artificial friends.
3. Funny in Farsi, by Firoozeh Dumas. An Iranian family gets used to life in the U.S.
4. (3-way tie:) This is How it Always is, by Laurie Frankel, a family raising a transgender child; Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng, in the future a boy loses his mother, who opposes the regime; The Hare with Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal, The rise of a rich European family.

Living Our Mission of Equity By Charmen Goehring

We hope you will join us in a monthly equity conversation where we look at our
own biases, seek actions we can take to attract diversity to our branch and
become better people in the process. Each month, we read a section of our
selected book then meet to discuss what we have learned, along with exploring
other issues related to race and equity. We meet the first Wednesday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m. on Zoom.

The Zoom meeting code is 737 420 3780 or you can join using this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7374203780  We will discuss our current book, The Talk by Darrin Bell, on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. If
you have questions and to RSVP, please email Charmen at

Our book for January is Just Action: How to Challenge Segregation Enacted Under The Color Of Law by Richard and Leah Rothstein. We will read 1/3 of the book each month from January to March,


AAUW Fund Luncheon

AAUW Fund Luncheon By Donna Holmes

Sponsored by your Capitol Counties Interbranch Council

Saturday, January 20, 2024 Northridge Country Club, 7600 Madison Ave. Fair Oaks, CA
Noon – 2:00pm

Keynote speaker: Tracy Ramondini, Elk Grove Sheldon High School teacher  and Gov Trek State Committee member, will update us on the Gov Trek program.

In addition, two current AAUW Fund Recipients will share their educational journeys,  focusing on details and progress of their work.

Reserve your spot today; deadline for reservations is  January 10, 2024.

Make your $40 check payable to AAUW CHAR and mail to:
AAUW CHAR, P.O. Box 1555, Fair Oaks, CA  95628
Include the following information:

Name _______________________________________ Branch _________________________

Phone __________________________ Email _______________________________________

Please indicate your menu choice:

____ Turkey w/mashed potatoes & veggies

____ Vegetarian Risotto

2024 AAUW IBC Luncheon Flyer

AAUW Funds

AAUW Funds By Charmen Goehring

As we unbelievably head into the last weeks of 2023, I am asking that you consider a gift to the AAUW Fund. This is a wonderful time to do so as the National Board and Committees and the staff have created a matching campaign for all donations up to $70,000! Women and girls can reach their full potential only when the barriers holding them back are broken down. Help AAUW smash the obstacles that hold women back.

It is easy to give online where you will be able to choose which fund you would like to support. The Greatest Needs fund is my top recommendation as it allows AAUW to pay its bills as well as stay nimble to respond to issues and needs as they arise. If you choose to send a check to AAUW, please make sure you write “AAUW Sacramento” in the memo line and include a cover letter specifying that you are in the AAUW Sacramento branch and where you would like your donation to be designated.

If you are planning to give by way of an IRA Distribution ( or a Required Minimum Distribution), contact your account custodian to request a “Qualified Charitable Distribution.” The check, accompanied by your name and address information, must be sent directly from your financial institution to AAUW. Provide the recipient information below to your custodian, along with AAUW’s Tax ID #52-6037388. Before sending, please also notify AAUW at planned-giving@aauw.org so they can keep an eye out for your gift and be sure to include the amount, your name, address and the designation of your gift (for example: Greatest Needs), and the financial institution sending your gift. Please direct your check, drawn on your IRA account and made payable to AAUW, to:

Attn: Planned Giving-IRA Distribution
1310 L St. NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005

One other consideration for those of you who love this organization and want to see AAUW continue to fight for equity for all into the future, you can become a Legacy Circle member. This is a gift that you leave from your estate and there is no minimum amount. There are many ways to set this up and you can contact me for more information. We have about 140 Legacy Circle members in California, including several in this branch, and we welcome more! As Judy Horan says, “Live, Love, Leave a Legacy!”

Thank you and have a joyful holiday season!

Could the ERA help the Reproductive Healthcare Crises?

Could the ERA help the Reproductive Healthcare Crises? By Liz Jordan

AAUW Position on the Equal Rights Amendment: To guarantee equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse and inclusive society, AAUW advocates the passage and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

When we look at the issues developing around the crises in reproductive healthcare, we must ask: Could the Equal Rights Amendment be important to finding solutions?

My thinking is “yes!” Why?

  • Because the simple language in Section 1. says “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex. “

Specifically, the Dobbs decision in 2022 says that states can decide if their citizens have a “right to privacy in their personal decisions.”  So, a woman living in New York has a right to privacy in her personal decisions that she makes for herself, but a woman living in Idaho does not have that right to privacy.

Individual states would not be allowed to decide a woman’s rights.   The women in Texas, and in other restrictive states (see the Guttmacher Institute interactive map) have fewer rights than women living in California.

  • The equal protection of the 14th Amendment protects people from discrimination based on race, religion or nationality. Gender is not a protected class and therefore not entitled to “strict judicial scrutiny.”  This results in a lower success rate when bringing gender discrimination suits before the Supreme Court.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia said in 2011 that there is nothing in the US Constitution that protects women against gender-based discrimination.  For women to become a “protected class” under the Constitution, we must be added, specifically and clearly, to expect constitutional protection.

Yearly, thousands of women swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, but nowhere in the Constitution is a woman protected by the Constitution.  Gender should also be a protected class entitled to “strict judicial scrutiny.”

Women living in every state should have equal access to all reproductive healthcare, and their lives and liberty should be protected by the US Constitution.

Why should the Archivist publish, or be told to publish, the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution?

  • Because the only two requirements for an amendment, stated in the US Constitution, have been met for the 28th Amendment (ERA).
  • 2/3 of both houses passed in 1972.
  • Ratified by 3/4 of 50 states, 38 states, in 2020.
  • Because the issue of the seven-year deadline, or three-year extension to 1982, is without merit.

The deadline is arbitrary.  Deadlines for ratification have been applied only in the last 100 years.  The deadline for the ERA does not appear in the text.  It appears only in the Preamble to the Amendment.

The 27th Amendment became part of the US Constitution in 1992.   It was sent out for ratification in 1789, just after the Bill of Rights was ratified, and was lost in the process.  The 27th Amendment governs how Congress may vote itself a raise in compensation but may not receive it in the same Congressional session.  This amendment was quite popular, when it was finally ratified 203 years after it started the ratification process, because Congress was very unpopular with the electorate in the 1980s.

There were questions raised about its legality, but Congressional leadership believed it was not politically smart to delay publication.  The 27th Amendment was published immediately, without ceremony but with certification, into the Constitution.

Why does an amendment that governs congressional pay compensation get swift treatment, while the amendment protecting equal treatment for more than half the population of the country must satisfy an arbitrary deadline that does not appear in the language of the amendment itself.

  • Because Congress is incapable of removing the deadline. For four years, over three successive Congressional sessions, they have attempted to remove the deadline by joint resolution.  Yet women wait.  And wait.  And wait.  For over 100 years we have waited.

President, Joe Biden, campaigned on a promise to get the ERA/28th Amendment into the US Constitution.  He has, also, publicly supported all congressional resolutions that nullify the arbitrary deadline. 

  • Because no state has ever successfully rescinded its ratification after it voted for an amendment.

More than one state attempted to rescind it’s vote for the 14th Amendment, the amendment that provided the rights of citizenship to “formerly enslaved persons.”  Some states were compelled to ratify the 14th Amendment as a requirement to be accepted back into the Union.

I propose that we ask some hard questions. 

  • Let us ask every politician holding federal office, from the President to your local senator and member of House of Representatives, what she or he has done, is doing, will do to secure equal protection for women in the Constitution?
  • Let us write to every woman working for a major television and/or radio news channel to ask when will they do programing about the conundrum of the Equal Rights Amendment, especially as it relates to the unequal access to healthcare?

Questions we could ask:

Why isn’t the 28th Amendment part of the US Constitution? 

  • Why doesn’t President Biden tell his new Archivist, Colleen Shogan, to publish the amendment?
  • Would we have the Dobbs decision with the Equal Rights Amendment as a part of our Constitution?
  • Why don’t national news reporters ask Biden about the ERA at news conferences?
  • If women political leaders and military members swear to protect the Constitution, why aren’t they protected by it?
  • Is there a political agenda preventing the certification and publication of the Equal Rights Amendment?

Write letters and/or emails to:          

Women in News Media

Margaret Brennan, Face the Nation, CBS, 2020 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 457-4481; facethenation@cbsnews.com

Rachel Maddow, The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Rachel@msnbc.com; *Jen Psaki, Inside with Jen Psaki on MSNBC; *Joy Reid, The Reidout on MSNBC; *Nicole Wallace, Deadline Whitehouse on MSNBC; *Alex Wagner, Alex Wagner Tonight on MSNBC; *Stephanie Ruhle on 11th Hour on MSNBC.

The news women listed above may all be emailed at MSNBCTVinfo@nbcuni.com

Lindsay Davis, ABC News Live Prime, https://www.linseytdavis.com/contact/

Political leaders

For our California senators:

Alex Padilla                                                                 Laphonza R. Butler

112 Hart Senate Office Bldg.                                      G12 Dirksen Senate Bldg.
Washington DC 20510                                                 Washington DC 20510
501 I Street Ste 7-800                                                  https://www.butler.senate.go
Sacramento, CA 95814

For Your House of Representatives:

Find your representative: www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

Did You Know?

Did You Know? By Liz Jordan, Nancy McCabe, Karen Burley

You can get up to 75% off of office supplies! By Liz Jordan

Every AAUW member is entitled to a number of perks and discounts. As a member of leadership for the last few decades I used the old Office Depot discount to make copies of all kinds of materials for different programs in which I participated. Recently, I learned that Office Depot has completed a reorganization of their discount program, and if I wanted to continue to get a great discount on printed copies, etc. I needed to take a few new steps. It was easy to do. If you want to get an Office Depot discount card, here’s is what you do:

  1. Go to aauw.org. Click Log In and sign into your membership. You probably set this up when you first paid your membership online. https://www.aauw.org/membership/
  2. Once on your Profile page, click Membership tab on the upper right corner of the menu band across the top of the page.
  3. On the new page, on the right side there is a menu list. The very last item is Discounts and Perks. Click through to the list of opportunities.
  4. Scroll down. Under the red band Other Discounts and Services, the third item is Office Depot.
  5. When you read through the information, it will tell you that to receive your member discount, you’ll need to re-enroll or register for an account through our dedicated ODP site. REGISTER NOW. Click through and follow the directions, giving your name and address to register for the program. Once you have registered, you will receive an email at the address you gave, to click through and get access to the card you can carry in your wallet.

You print the paper, take it with you the next visit to Office Depot, and they will laminate the card for you.

TA-DA! “Up to 80% discount off of Preferred Products!”

Ordering AAUW Name Badges By Nancy McCabe

You probably have seen some of our members wearing AAUW badges with our branch inscribed. We ordered them about six years ago when we were using paper badges on a string around our necks. It reminded some of a work badge or a nametag for a cocker spaniel. Ten dollars looked like a bargain for a bit of self esteem. Strangely, the badges are still $10 and can be ordered at aauw.source4.com, then choose Accessorize. My second line is ‘Sacramento Branch, Inc.’ We chose not to add our leadership position name as we often change jobs within our branch. After all, $10 is $10! When we ordered the badges earlier, they added ’empowering women since 1881′ but I gather they are no longer doing that. Anyway, the badges are pretty cool, so feel free to order yours, and shop the site for other logo stuff!

Sunshine Chair

Pat Winkle is our Sunshine Chair and needs to hear from you if you know members who might appreciate a get well, sympathy or “thinking of you” card. As she doesn’t know everyone, she needs your help in remembering our friends. Her contact information is in the directory.

RBG Stamp

The U.S. Postal Service is issuing a Ruth Bader Ginsburg stamp! The Postal Service has issued a new Forever stamp that honors the legacy of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Available now!



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